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GDC Extras Archive

The GDC (Game Developers Conference), previously the Computer Game Developers Conference, is a series of events held worldwide to bring together developers, marketers, management, artists, and others involved in the creation of electronic entertainment. Besides the main events, GDC also maintains an archive of presentations and recordings at The GDC Vault.



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Game design for consoles is always a balance between features and limitations. There are many ways to try and take advantages of the hardware at hand, but ultimately the final battle versus these limitations that take place during the implementation of Levels, specifically NPC and Object placement and management. The lecture touches lightly on some of the Design Philosophies utilized during the development of the console Medal of Honor titles. The title "Four at a Time" refers to the...
Topics: GDC, Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor: Underground, Chris Cross, 2004
GDC Extras Archive
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Creating compelling characters is a challenging process. Creating compelling characters that address the needs of different game genres is even more challenging. This live demo will explore the conceptual stage of character creation, and explain what to consider when designing for different genres like fighting games, MMOS and shooters. Arn plans to share some of his knowledge and he will design a character of your choice! Will it be a pirate swordsman for a fighting game? Or perhaps an alien...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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March 4-8 2003 San Jose, CA
GDC Extras Archive
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March 20-24, 2001
This session will describe how Infinity Ward leveraged hardware tessellation in Call of Duty: Ghosts to improve image quality and artist efficiency on PCs and next generation consoles, while maintaining the games trademark high-frame rate. Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces are an artist friendly, efficient representation for next-generation models. Recent research, including feature adaptive subdivision surfaces by Matthias Niessner and Charles Loop, has made it possible to efficiently render...
Topic: GDC
There is a marred piece of received wisdom in the mobile game industry today. A formula that has become commonplace, but that potentially threatens those who do not truly understand it. The mantra is that you can simply take the Lifetime Value of a player (LTV) and subtract the cost-per-install (CPI), and when LTV is greater than CPI, you'll win. Based on Disruptor Beam's experience with Game of Thrones Ascent, Jon Radoff explains why this is not a surefire outlook toward mobile business...
Topic: GDC
Learn more about our latest devices, including Fire phone and Fire TV. Fire phone lets you create games that respond to customers in a new way with Dynamic Perspective, and Fire TV makes it easy for Android game developers to reach a new audience in the living room. We'll provide details on the SDKs, show you how other developers are using these features and help you get started. You'll also hear more about the AWS services that will help you evolve your game and Appstore APIs that can help you...
Topic: EU
The recent success of games with strong narratives such as Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us and The Walking Dead points to a future where game narrative is viewed as an asset, not an add-on. Unfortunately, the often adopted Three-Act Structure - Hollywood's classical story paradigm - meshes so poorly with game design that it has become a roadblock to narrative development. This talk will explore an alternative paradigm, Sequence Structure, which melds story seamlessly with game elements such...
Topic: GDC NEXT
Telltale's The Walking Dead should be, by most historical measures, a failure as an apocalyptic zombie video game. It has no dedicated combat button, the main character has no exceptional skills or abilities, and it explores issues of race and gender under a mechanical and thematic milieu of "choice." By focusing completely on characters and "designing with empathy," we were able to create a story-driven game experience that has become both a commercial and critical success....
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Conference: May 4-8, 1998
This lecture focuses on the interactive simulation of water surfaces such as puddles, lakes, rivers or oceans. While simple particle systems are well suited for blood or splashing effects, the simulation of larger bodies of water requires more sophisticated techniques. Full 3d fluid simulations are too computationally expensive to be used in games today. However, simulating the water surface alone as a 2d heighfield reduces that cost significantly and can still capture most visual effects of 3d...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
by Nintendo of America, Inc.
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Footage of Super Mario Galaxy from Shigeru Miyamoto's GDC 2007 Keynote speech o.
Topic: nintendo, wii, super mario galaxy
God of War is a big game, lots of special case elements, high production values. Its lead designer was a Right Brain, random creative type who couldnt really speak Programmer. Its lead programmer was a Left Brain analytical type who likes things to be methodical, well thought out and hates special cases. Through a 3 year process of arguing, designing, building, programming, and much, much more arguing they managed to find a way to make a game. This session will cover how the code, engine and...
Topic: GDC
This talk is a detailed walkthrough of the game engine modifications needed to make The Last of Us Remastered run at 60 fps on PlayStation 4. Topics covered will include the fiber-based job system Naughty Dog adopted for the game, the overall frame-centric engine design, the memory allocation patterns used in the title, and our strategies for dealing with locks.
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Computer Game Developer's Conference 1996 30CGDC96_BrianHammerstein Brian Hammerstein Multiplayer Games   37CGDC96_RobWallace Rob Wallace Creating Dazzling Sound Effects http://vgmpf.com/Wiki/index.php/Rob_Wallace   43CGDC96_DeanGloster Dean Gloster Financing Alternatives 47CGDC96_RaymondBenson Raymond Benson Story vs Gameplay  Raymond Benson Story vs Gameplay 53CGDC96_R.Stein&D.Wheeler R. Stein & D.Wheeler The Making of the 11th Hour 54CGDC96_BrianNapper Brian Napper Current...
 
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Stealth gameplay poses unique challenges to the level builder, and a poorly-designed level will frustrate players as surely as a well-designed level will please them. The challenges are exacerbated when stealth is an auxiliary element rather than the core gameplay. We've all wanted to quit in disgust when we got to the one badly integrated stealth level in an otherwise well-designed game, right? Whether your game is all about stealth or just includes some stealth gameplay, this presentation...
Topic: GDC
As we enter a new console generation, the complexity of many games have increased, and with that, the knowledge needed to create them. Creating the latest code for graphics, animation, physical simulation and even artificial intelligence requires thorough knowledge of the necessary mathematical underpinnings. This tutorial continues the tradition of the "Math for Programmers" tutorial by bringing together some of the best presenters in gaming math to concentrate on the core...
Topic: GDC
Are you trying to make your game projects more diverse in representations of gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation? There are at least three good reasons you should. The first is moral: it's the right thing to do, but in a business context this argument tends to be the least persuasive. The second is creative: diversity of cast opens up possibilities for narrative richness and addictiveness. Third, and most persuasive: it's smart business. We'll review the latest findings that confirm the...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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The entire experience of playing a game is framed by its camera, but the addition of the third dimension has brought more than a few twists that torment players to this day. Cameras have potential as a powerful storytelling tool, but before they can realize that potential, they must meet the player's needs. Undermining sense of direction, impairing judgment of distances, breaking line-of-sight, triggering simulation sickness, or simply being useless are just a few of the failure cases we've all...
Topic: GDC
Project Spark is a new free-to-play creation engine that allows players of all skill levels to make their own games and share them with the world. Project Spark will ship across multiple platforms and support multiple input devices. Come hear some of the ways in which Project Spark encourages players to become creators, using layers of simplicity to ease the learning curve, adding a deceptively powerful visual programming language, and encouraging players to cooperate and specialize in...
Topic: GDC NEXT
GDC Extras Archive
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EEDAR co-founder Geoffrey Zatkin presents a tour de force romp through video game industry data, patterns and trends, covering everything from next generation consoles to the maturation of mobile games to the diversification of monetization methodologies and everything in-between. Guaranteed to raise your game industry IQ. Attendees will gain a better understanding of recent macro and micro trends of the video game industry - not anecdotal, but trends based on actual objectively quantifiable...
Topic: GDC
 
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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This session is about using the QuickHull algorithm for convex hull creation. Dirk will show how to implement the QuickHull algorithm in 3D and how it is used for collision authoring at Valve. The talk will introduce the algorithm in 2D first and then extend to 3D. It will also cover numerical issues which will be handled mostly by using face merging, and show why face merging is important for stable contacts in rigid body simulation.
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Lighting Skylanders SWAP Force will give audience members a look at the rendering and lighting approach used, which worked across five different platforms. Visual illustrations and explanations of topics like deferred shading, tile deferred lighting, dynamic shadows, and non-realistic application of physically-based lighting from an artist%u2019s perspective will be covered. Audience members will then see in-depth footage of how the real-time lighting pipeline and tools running in the game...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Today's MMOs often have hundreds of types of agents in their game world - each with potentially dozens of actions they can take. Hand crafting the AI for every agent can be a time-consuming process fraught with brittle, unpredictable results. Often, the only way to achieve the breadth of characters is to sacrifice the depth of behaviors that they can take. This session will show a new architecture that combines a modular, utility-based AI system and a powerful influence map engine. With it,...
Topic: GDC
The soundtrack for the 2012 cult indie hit Dear Esther has been praised for its emotional power and innovative fusion of digital effects and live instrumentation. This talk will explain the process of evolving the soundtrack from the original 2007 mod, which was built using only digital samples, to the remake's lush orchestration. The talk will focus on how to create rich and deep soundtracks on a tight budget, and our process of design, placement, and optimization of the music as a device to...
Topic: GDC
While not receiving as much attention as their pathfinding kin, there is little denying that steering behaviors have their place in modern games. However, as with any technology, traditional steering behaviors have their edge cases and quirks. This lecture will present examples of how steering behaviors have advanced recently, and how they can be used to provide more realistic movement in demanding situations. In one example, we will show how steering enabled the rapid coordinated movement of...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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In an industry increasingly focused on metrics and paying for new players, CSR Racing stands out from the crowd. NaturalMotion and Boss Alien's mobile distillation of the racing genre caused shockwaves on the App Store when it was released in June, 2012, generating more than $12 million in a single month alone and remaining a permanent fixture in the Top Grossing charts ever since. In the space of just 9 months, CSR Racing has grown a dedicated and engaged fanbase that have taken their...
Topic: GDC
The idea that games are fundamentally interactive is deeply ingrained in both the industry and the academy. As a result, games are typically analyzed as responsive dynamic systems. However, while this way of thinking about games yields useful insights into many types of games, it breaks down when it is applied to low-interaction play spaces like Dear Esther and Gone Home. Some have even gone so far as to claim that such experiences are not games at all. This talk offers a new methodology for...
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Topic: GDC
The Game Design Challenge is back for a special session to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the GDC. Here's how it works: a panel of ferociously talented game designers are given a strange and unusual design constraint. This year the challenge is to design a game that is meant to be played across 30 years that's 11,000 days, or 250,000 hours, or 15 million minutes... A full human generation.Panelists Chris Crawford, founder of the Computer Game Developers Conference, Nina Freeman (Cibele),...
Topic: GDC
F2P games are intentionally designed to encourage player engagement and monetization. While often well-intentioned, history shows that "chasing the whale" could draw unwanted attention---or regulation---from politicians and demagogues already predisposed to see games in a negative light. What is the legal landscape, and what does the good science say? Drawing from parallels to casinos, regulated industries and past moral panics (including comics and even opera!), Dr. Tyler Black,...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Rainbow Six | Siege is based on the first iteration of a new current gen only rendering engine. With massively and procedurally destructible levels, it was important to invest in techniques that allow for better scaling on both CPU and GPU. This session will describe the most interesting work done by the R6 graphics team to ship a competitive game on Xbox One, PS4 and up to 5 year old PCs. It will focus on architectural optimizations that leverages compute that are only possible with the...
Topic: GDC
These days, character animators have many options for creating advanced animation rigs. What's the best route to take and what are some new, unique techniques that may be beneficial to your pipeline? This session covers the primary advanced character animation techniques across Autodesk software, detailing the pros and cons of each approach. It will then cover advanced production techniques in 3ds Max and Maya as well as new pipelines and techniques available when integrating Autodesk...
Topic: GDC
As the complexity of potential state spaces that AI agents have to explore moves beyond more traditional games like chess, search-based approaches like minimax are no longer feasible to employ. Worse, when imperfect information is involved, the problem becomes largely intractable. What is needed is a way of exploring that multi-layered possibility space and coming up with a "good enough" answer, even if it isn't the "mathematically perfect" one, and still do it in a...
Topic: GDC
Is Dynamic Difficulty the magic bullet for game balancing? Is it worth the effort? This talk discusses the experiences of putting the Personal Challenge System in Sin Episodes: Emergence to examine the real costs, benefits, and consequences of implementing dynamic difficulty.
Topic: GDC
 
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Social casino continues to be one of the dominant genres in free-to-play gaming. This session presents postmortems on two interesting developments in the social casino space: Postmortem #1: In late 2014, GSN Games unveiled its newest mobile app, GSN Grand Casino. A complete reimagination of social casino, GSN Grand Casino combines the best of both land-based casino games and proven social game elements like progression, collection and status. With the highest production value of any social...
Topic: GDC
Writing good game code requires a working knowledge of compiler internals to avoid the many pitfalls that cause poor performance. It is no good asserting that "the compiler should have understood what I meant". Knowing how to communicate with an optimising compiler efficiently is essential. This knowledge is also useful to those who wish to create optimising scripting languages for their projects.
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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The Indiepocalypse. Is this a real thing? What does it mean? This panel of experienced developers have felt the pain of this market fluctuation, or have thrived despite it, and will share their budgets, revenue, schedules, historical performance, platforms, PR strategies, demographics and so forth, all the objective data needed to support their diverse answers to the important questions. What's going on in the indie games market these days? How should we contextualize it? What will happen next?...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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With the establishment of professional online gaming, high quality matchmaking and ranking systems have become expected components of competitive multiplayer games. This talk will cover the following: skill determination, matchmaking, ranking, how they relate, and direction for the future. It will cover what can be expected out of the latest state-of-the-art skill determination systems. It will discuss how skill can be properly used for matchmaking and how good matchmaking can free gameplay...
Topic: GDC
Game physics engines are used to create games like Angry Birds, Half-Life, Tomb Raider, Red Faction, MotorStorm, Limbo, and Diablo 3. Games would be far less compelling without the realistic physics simulation that engages the player's intuition and stimulates their motion awareness. Physics has become a staple of the modern gaming tradition as we try to re-create and re-interpret the world around us. The Physics for Programmers tutorial brings together speakers from Blizzard, Dtecta, Havok,...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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1997 Computer Game Developers Conference CD (1997)
GDC Extras Archive
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In this talk, art director Matt Nava will present the artwork he created during the development of the game Journey by thatgamecompany. The audience will learn about the creative processes, inspirations, challenges, and constraints that were encountered while designing the art direction for this critically acclaimed and award-winning PS3 title. Based on the book "The Art of Journey" which Nava recently wrote, the lecture will cover the design of the character, creatures, landscapes,...
Topic: GDC
In sixty minutes, Vlambeer's Rami Ismail will challenge the audience to get better at pitching their own game to press, to audiences and to platforms.
Topic: EU
Sigils - Battle for Raios is a unique blend of MOBA and RPG elements with synchronous multiplayer gameplay, designed for tablets. In order to bring these diverse elements together graphically, a quite unusual approach to rendering had to be taken. Sigils mixes pre-rendered 2D sprites with 3D gameplay, 3D elements and hand-drawn environments.
Topic: EU
GDC Extras Archive
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Game worlds expand in size and complexity, thus requiring developers to fill hundreds of square kilometers with content - some of the most tedious and time consuming tasks being terrain and vegetation editing. This talk will describe CD Projekt Red's approach to highly automatize the process. By moving away from the conventional terrain material layers and linear material blends, visual quality can be improved while greatly reducing the amount of work. Vegetation coverage can be procedurally...
Topic: GDC
It is one of Teut Weidemann's tasks as an F2P specialist to analyze successful F2P games. In this case, the world's biggest online game will be analyzed: how it works, why it works, and why it is so successful. The talk will be spiced with stories, numbers and insights.
Topic: EU
 
Topic: GDC
First-person melee combat has been one of those things that cannot quite be perfected. Yet that was one of the innovations that Arkane Studios wanted to bring to DARK MESSIAH OF MIGHT AND MAGIC. Raphael Colantonio, the game's director, goes step-by-step how the design worked for the game, which was released last autumn.
Topic: GDC
Game physics engines are used to create games like Angry Birds, Half-Life, Tomb Raider, Red Faction, MotorStorm, Limbo, and Diablo 3. Games would be far less compelling without the realistic physics simulation that engages the player's intuition and stimulates their motion awareness. Physics has become a staple of the modern gaming tradition as we try to re-create and re-interpret the world around us. The Physics for Programmers tutorial brings together speakers from Blizzard, Dtecta, Havok,...
Topic: GDC
As the virtual world becomes more open and complex and as the addition of user-created content continues to rise, the EULA may not provide the same protections that it once did. As the nature of the games progresses to more and more imitate life in the real world, the more potential for legal consequences and obligations for game developers.
Topic: GDC
 
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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If Shigeru Miyamoto is the Steven Spielberg of videogames, Koji Kondo is the John Williams. As one of the industry's most highly regarded composers, Kondo has composed timeless pieces that help bring Nintendo's stories to life through music. Starting with Super Mario Bros. in 1985 to the recently released The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess , Kondo has continuously redefined the definition of a game soundtrack. During this in-depth session, Kondo illustrates how his method of composing...
Topic: GDC
The Nintendo DS is a flexible platform that offers engineers a chance for innovation. In this session, Vicarious Visions engineers explore the tricks and techniques used to maximize visual impact. Inherent restrictions, such as polygon count and VRAM limitations, and additional hardware and software constraints are explained. Examples from Vicarious Visions' DS titles are presented, including how the team used texture streaming, resource balancing, and proper budgeting to overcome hardware...
Topic: GDC
This lecture focuses on the unique challenges of developing both 2D and 3D versions of a mobile game title. It discusses these issues while going through several case studies of development projects within the last two years. The case studies include 2D and 3D titles, such as EXTREME AIR SNOWBOARDING, BEACH MINI GOLF, MINI GOLF: CASTLES, AND RACING FEVER GT. The structure of case studies take a postmortem like approach of what went right and what went wrong. As the lecture goes through the case...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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This lecture will present a novel technique called Adaptive Virtual Texture (AVT) rendering which is used in Far Cry 4. It will describe how we used the technique to render terrain along with a massive amount of decals very efficiently on both CPU and GPU. Traditional virtual texture rendering techniques like MegaTexture and procedural virtual texturing can suffer from low-texel resolution when applied to a large open world. Adaptive virtual texturing overcomes this problem. In Far Cry 4 it is...
Topic: GDC
The bar for quality in games is constantly being pushed higher every year, and yet, there are still areas that tend to remain afterthoughts during the production cycle. Cameras are one such area. Most game teams don't have the luxury of a dedicated "camera guy" and as such, the ownership typically gets split between various people on the team, and rarely to anyone with any real-world camera experience. The goal of this talk is to give the audience a primer in cameras and composition,...
Topic: GDC
This session will cover two high end techniques that benefit from advanced GPU hardware features. High resolution fluid simulation in games has always been problematic, but with tiled resources it's possible to optimize for memory footprint, simulation cost and rendering efficiency. Conventional shadow mapping has its pros and cons, this hybrid technique combines the best of shadow mapping with ray-traced shadows using conservative rasterization.
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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March 22-26, 2004 San Jose, CA
 
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Game physics engines are used to create games like Angry Birds, Half-Life, Tomb Raider, Red Faction, MotorStorm, Limbo, and Diablo 3. Games would be far less compelling without the realistic physics simulation that engages the player's intuition and stimulates their motion awareness. Physics has become a staple of the modern gaming tradition as we try to re-create and re-interpret the world around us. The Physics for Programmers tutorial brings together speakers from Blizzard, Dtecta, Havok,...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
movies
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EEDAR co-founder Geoffrey Zatkin presents a tour de force romp through video game industry data, patterns and trends, covering everything from next generation consoles to the maturation of mobile games to the diversification of monetization methodologies and everything in-between. Guaranteed to raise your game industry IQ. Attendees will gain a better understanding of recent macro and micro trends of the video game industry - not anecdotal, but trends based on actual objectively quantifiable...
Topic: GDC
Three One Zero founders Adam Orth, Omar Aziz and independent artist Hogarth de la Plante will go in-depth into the unorthodox development process that took Three One Zero's current game project ADR1FT from a concept on paper to a unique game/VR prototype to a publishing deal with 505 Games in the span of five months. Orth, Aziz and de la Plante will detail the goals they set at the beginning of the process, how they achieved them, and share everything they learned in-between to illuminate and...
Topic: GDC NEXT
GDC Extras Archive
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Technical art is evolving rapidly. In many studios TAs play key roles in developing efficient tools pipelines, and ensuring art content is visually striking and optimized for performance. TAs bridge content and engineering, helping make both more successful. However, many studios have still not fully embraced the TA role. Their TAs are smart and eager to make an impact, but are not sure how to best prove their value, and be given key roles in development. A group of experienced, respected...
Topic: GDC
A visual narrative that provokes profound emotion is never an easy challenge in game development. We approached this by forcing a minimalist style: if you take away language, NPC characters, UI and cinematic, you push away traditional storytelling methods and game mechanics to allow space for the player to feel what the story is about, and to experience a full and personal immersion.
Topic: GDC
Mini Golf Match Up was a massive success for startup Scopely, with 10 million downloads in the first month and it broke the iTunes record for reviews in a single version of a game (over 138,000 averaging 4.5 stars). Scopely creative director Travis Chen will talk about working with developer RocketJump, and key learnings throughout development.
Topic: GDC
In this talk, Eugene Yailenko, ZeptoLab's Senior Game Designer, will share his experience of designing "King of Thieves" - a game that has been downloaded more than 20 million times and is either loved or hated by players; there are not many opinions in between. The first part of the talk will describe the process of finding the key design pillars for the game during its first year of development. The second part will cover the challenges team faced during the soft-launch period, that...
Topic: GDC
With further advancement in the current console cycle, new tricks are being learned to squeeze the maximum performance out of the hardware. This talk will present how the compute power of the console and PC GPUs can be used to improve the triangle throughput beyond the limits of the fixed function hardware. The discussed method shows a way to perform efficient "just-in-time" optimization of geometry, and opens the way for per-primitive filtering kernels and procedural geometry...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Part of the 2007 Independent Games Summit, held at the Game Developers Conference 2007 in San Francisco, March 2007: Our Journey From Narbacular Drop To Portal (Kim Swift, Valve) In this lecture, the team which made IGF Student Showcase winner Narbacular Drop talk about the making of the innovative title, tips for student developers, how the entire team got picked up by Valve to make Portal using the Source Engine, and exactly how they've transitioned from student indie creators to continued...
GDC Extras Archive
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Topic: GDC
2005 was great a year for mobile gaming and all signs point to an even better next couple of years as the industry continues to thrive. As todays industry is built on strong relationships and quality products, it is vital for the developer-publisher relationship to flourish beyond the once standard paper deal. This session highlights the following key topics: * Forging a solid developer-publisher relationship * Structuring successful deals * Pros and cons of creating original vs. branded IP *...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Now in its fifth year, the Casual Games Summit will provide a concise overview of all aspects of casual games for attendees who are less familiar with the space, and an in-depth look at current trends and future predictions for veterans of the casual game industry. The first day of the summit, "Casual Games Today" starts with an intro session that will cover the basics of casual game knowledge, before launching into an examination of the hottest topics in casual game development...
Topic: GDC
GDC Extras Archive
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Characters, factions, classes, and decks: we embrace asymmetry in competitive games, yet one overpowered option can wreak havoc on a community. Such metagame imbalances need not be evaluated solely through intuition. This talk introduces a principled approach to understanding the strength of asymmetric options, grown from the speaker's work balancing PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. The method uses game theory and matchup charts to describe the possible metagames that can form among expert...
Topic: GDC
For a relatively small team of environment artists to create the huge open world of Sunset Overdrive, we needed new ways to streamline the production of art assets while still pushing the visual quality to the next level. The Ultimate Trim became our name for a texturing technique, utilizing a certain trim layout and normal map structure that solved a lot of the problems we knew we were facing with production speed, memory usage and performance. During the early phases of development we spent...
Topic: GDC